Does Beloit Turner plan make sense?
This era of open enrollment generally serves students and families well. Some students switch because their home district seems insufficient or a neighboring one offers special programming that their district can’t provide. Sometimes parents commute to jobs where some other district is more convenient. Regardless the reasons, students apply and, if space is available, switch.
Many districts openly seek students from other districts because they know each child means thousands more in state aid. For example, today's Gazette details how Janesville might expand a charter school for at-risk students because it has a waiting list and estimates suggest that the extra state aid will more than offset the higher costs.
Yet the competition between districts creates winners and losers. Districts where enrollment is rising usually balance budgets more easily than those districts that are losing students.
Now, here comes Beloit Turner with an especially aggressive plan to draw more students through open enrollment. The high school has 444 students, but the plans call for building a new high school big enough for 600. Officials have said the main purpose of this plan would be to serve more students through open enrollment, though administrators hope an improving economy will grow enrollment within the district, as well.
Not everyone agrees, as a story by Gina Duwe that we printed Dec. 18 details.
Does this plan make sense? In our editorial Friday, we’ll explain why residents of the Turner district must do their homework before three upcoming meetings.